Unified GCC Visa Approved

Published by Bond Properties on

GCC Unveils Unified Visa for Seamless Gulf Travel Experience

Unified GCC Visa Approved. In a groundbreaking announcement during a recent gathering of GCC ministers in Muscat, Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, Oman's Minister of Heritage and Tourism, revealed the unanimous approval of the highly anticipated unified visa. This single visa serves as a golden ticket for tourists eager to explore the six-member Gulf bloc, comprising the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait.

An Integral Part of the GCC 2030 Tourism Strategy

Similar to the convenience offered by a Schengen visa for European travel, the GCC aims to streamline the process for visitors to seamlessly hop between countries within the Gulf bloc. Previously, tourists had to obtain separate visas for each of the six Gulf countries, despite the interconnectedness of these destinations by air and road.

This unified visa is a pivotal component of the GCC 2030 tourism strategy, spearheaded by Abdulla bin Touq, the UAE Minister of Economy. The strategy is designed to elevate the economic contribution of the tourism sector by promoting increased regional travel and boosting hotel occupancy rates.

With a target of welcoming 128.7 million visitors by 2030, a substantial increase from the 39.8 million recorded last year, the GCC is poised for significant growth. The region boasts a total of 10,649 hotels, with the UAE ranking second after Saudi Arabia, according to Mr. bin Touq.

Despite global economic challenges, the Middle East’s tourism sector, anchored by the largest Arab economies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, has experienced a robust post-coronavirus rebound. HSBC’s research report in August highlighted the region’s “total recovery” in terms of tourist arrivals in the first quarter of 2023.

Industry insiders believe that the unified visa program will be a game-changer for the region. There exists an untapped market for tourism within the GCC bloc due to previous visa restrictions that hindered access to certain nations.

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